True North Strong and Free
I’ve been looking for a Federal Party for which to vote. I’ve looked at several national issues. I’ve looked at all of the contenders. I’ve finally found the one factor that can allow me to say, I’m done looking and I’m ready to vote. That singular deciding factor is Arctic Sovereignty.
The new global battlespace is north of 60. Do we keep it, share it, or lose it?
Chinese, Russian, and American surface and sub-surface naval vessels are operating in our waters and their aircraft are overhead. They have no intention of sharing. We have two options: defend our sovereignty over our part of the circumpolar Arctic or lose it. I choose to keep our Arctic.
Global warming will shift economic activity and populations away from the equator and towards the poles. As long as it was frozen, the world was willing to let Canada ‘own’ the Arctic. As long as there was no pressure, Canada did little to ‘own’ the Arctic. The three global super-powers: USA, China, Russia all want the new Arctic. They want the natural resources and transportation advantages that it offers. They want the land and water and resources. Stand aside, Canada.
The official government effort since the Ottawa Declaration in 1996 is through the Arctic Council which comprises the eight Arctic states: Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the USA. The reality is that the future of the Canadian Arctic – and Canada – needs a co-ordinated, multi-faceted, fully-engaged, forward-looking, stand-alone effort. We have no friends in this fight. Which Party can and will do what needs to be done? Success will rely upon a firm foundation in law, will be dependent upon diplomacy, will require much money, will be predicated upon a permanent presence, and may mean military action. Who has the balls?
On 10 April 2019, the Liberal government released a report titled, “Nation-Building at Home, Vigilance Beyond”. That report said, “… there is a fundamental desire on the part of northerners for a new era, one defined by collaboration. … That spirit imbues [our] recommendations … on everything from co-management of the Northwest Passage to decision-making about economic development.” Yawn.
On 6 May 2019, US Secretary of State Pompeo spoke to the Arctic Council focussing on Russian and Chinese activity in the region, deriding Canada’s “illegitimate” claim of sovereignty, and reminding everyone that the USA has a long standing “feud” with Canada over the issue dating back decades. Our PM, Trudeau Junior, did not respond. Struck down. Struck dumb. No words. No substance.
Within the NDP’s 2019 platform titled, “A New Deal for People”, the word ‘Arctic’ appears only once. Yep, just once. Here is the quote: “We will also respect Inuit self-determination by co-developing the federal government’s Arctic Policy Framework through shared governance within the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, including through the adoption of an Inuit Nunangat policy in full partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. We will support the economic and social self-reliance of Inuit by addressing the massive infrastructure deficit in Northern communities.” Babble. Lots of words. No substance.
As of 26 June 2019, the Conservative Party confirms the stance they took when Harper was PM, “Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this Government intends to use it. Because Canada’s Arctic is central to our national identity as a northern nation. It is part of our history. And it represents the tremendous potential of our future.” Clear, concise, complete. Substantive.
True North strong and free. I’m done looking.